MUMBAI: The rupee pared its early gains to settle 24 paise lower at 73.56 against the US dollar on Monday due to steady capital outflows and strengthening of the American currency.
The rupee came under pressure following heavy selling in domestic equities and the crude oil breaching the USD 80 per barrel mark on geo-political worries related to killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Brent crude, the international benchmark, again went past the the USD 80-mark to quote USD 80.14 per barrel on Monday, putting pressure on the local unit.
At the Interbank Foreign Exchange, the rupee opened on a higher note at 73.36 and gained further ground to hit an intra-day high of 73.19 against the US dollar.
But it failed to hold onto the gains and fell back to settle at the day’s low level of 73.56, showing a loss of 24 paise or 0.33 per cent over the previous close.
The rupee had settled at 73.32 against the US dollar on Friday.
Unabated capital outflows by foreign funds, and heavy selling in domestic equities dampened the sentiment, dealers said.
The BSE Sensex gave up all its early gains of over 435 points to end 181 points lower at 34,134.38 on Monday.
Meanwhile, foreign portfolio investors (FPIs) offloaded shares worth Rs 618.26 crore, while domestic institutional investors (DIIs) had net sold shares worth Rs 2.14 crore on Friday as per provisional data.
The Financial Benchmark India Private Ltd (FBIL) set the reference rate for the rupee/dollar at 73.3025 and for rupee/euro at 84.5730. The reference rate for rupee/British pound was fixed at 95.9305 and for rupee/100 Japanese yen was 65.02.